Abstract: [Purpose/Significance] This study aims to comprehend the current global status of CiteSpace application and its evolution in terms of intellectual functions. Additionally, it seeks to facilitate the understanding and implementation of CiteSpace within the Chinese scientific community. [Method/Process] Knowledge mapping methods were employed to analyze 965 papers related to CiteSpace from the Web of Science Core Collections. The analysis covered growth trends, geographical distribution, research topics, and citation evolution. [Result/Conclusion] The findings reveal a consistent upward trend in CiteSpace's application over the past 16 years. The application demonstrates a diverse distribution across 54 different countries/regions and 337 cities. Notably, China emerges as the most productive country. Keywords highlight the consistent co-use of CiteSpace with VOSviewer and HistCite software, while the Web of Science database is the most widely used platform. Widely adopted bibliometric methods include co-citation analysis, citation analysis, co-word analysis, and co-authorship. The application's purposes encompass hotspot analysis, tracking research trends, and conducting literature reviews. The timeline-based co-citation network reveals that the foundational knowledge of application papers primarily draws from classical bibliometric literature. The diachronic citation network analysis elucidates the complete evolution of CiteSpace I, CiteSpace II, and CiteSpace III. Furthermore, dual overlay maps of journals effectively map the interaction between CiteSpace application papers and foundational knowledge base papers.
Keywords: CiteSpace; scientific outputs; science map; co-words analysis; citation analysis